I Miss Terry Noel

I called Rudy (his soulmate) the other night to check-in and within no time we were both sobbing in an endless stage of mourning. It’s been three years since he passed and I just don’t think I’ll ever get over it. No contest, he was the absolute coolest person I’ve ever met. I was camera woman for the Coca Crystal TV Show and he came on to promote his new art show, “Life, Love, Death, and Elvis”. I was in my Jim Morrison is God stage, and he told me he was roommates with Jim in California. I was sold.

I went to his show at the Westbeth Gallery and it was divided into rooms. There was  a room for Life was bright with plants and sculpture. The room for love was romantic with rose petals and hearts and a painting. The room for death was dark and had dirt with the feel of a coffin. The Elvis was my favorite part as he showcased a famous drag queen to sing Viva Las Vegas. Sammy from the band Donovan performed his music and we were treated to the groupie poet, Cherry Vanilla. After the show, he took us all to Times Square (back when it was still seedy) to a hidden transvestite bar and got my just under-age self pickled. I remember drunkenly rambling on how he opened my eyes to art, life, love, death, and Elvis. He saw something in me that clicked. And we were best friends from then on.

At the time we were close his specialty (after his art) was throwing parties. And magnificent they were! Their apartment in itself was gorgeous enough to give tours of. But the guest list dwarfed all. Terry. knew. everyone. There were never over the top celebs but the people you actually want to talk to (the designers, the filmmakers, the writers). When the Pope visited NYC, Terry ran into his official photographer somewhere in midtown and the poor man just fell in love with Terry instantly. He painted a beautiful picture of Terry and as thanks, Terry threw him a party. I met a sculptor who was a woman but had to dress as a man (monk) in order to sculpt in the Vatican. Another party was given for his friend who was one of the original creators of Sesame Street and her Emmy was the table centerpiece. At that party I met the woman who designed clothing in the 60s for Jimi Hendrix and the like. I might have been born a generation too late, but these parties were my gift from Terry. Everyone loved me because I wanted to hear every single story they had to tell.

To give some Terry history: In 1965, he was the first DJ to spin two records at once, changing the way we listen to music ever since. His life has been one for the books. He’s featured in the book “Last Night a DJ Saved My Life” and there’s a fantastic article on DJHistory.com with many of his best stories. He was roommates with Jim, hung out with the Beatles, knew Hendrix, Joplin, Buffalo Springfield, Jefferson Airplane, Andy Warhol, and the list goes on and on. At his very core he was a music fiend just like me. He would play me songs for hours and to this day I can’t hear a Nine Inch Nails song without thinking of him screaming their lyrics in his living room.

I am so thankful I had the time with him that I did and we loved each other as soul friends do.

23 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. http://jim-morrison-fanclub.blogspot.com/
    Jul 16, 2011 @ 05:37:17

    I’ve seen full video from Jim Morrison grave on Pere Lachaise on 40 aniversary 1971-2011 . I’ve seen on http://jim-morrison-fanclub.blogspot.com/.If you like you can watch !


  2. mike ratti
    Sep 25, 2011 @ 23:06:12

    I did not know Terry,but we shared credits on an album,I was the drummer on ‘The Heavy Balloon” album, I also played drums for “Cherry Vanilla” for a short time.
    Mike Ratti


  3. scott
    Sep 05, 2012 @ 21:27:44

    i’ve known terry since 1965. when terry went to califoronia that summer, i took over his dj job at arthur. he was a very well loved person with enormous flair and energy and loyalty. not a week goes by that my friend, alfredo and i don’t talk about individual nights or places etc. i think rudy has since moved to california, but i can’t be sure. what i am reasonably sure of is that terry never lived with jim morrison. the intermediary in all this is my adopted sister billie, who was sleeping with and taking care of jim in those days. when i moved to california the next year, i met jim many times and billie filled me in on everything about him, including where he lived. terry might have met him a few times back then, but terry was only in california for a few weeks and never rented an apartment or house. i hesitated to write this to you, because i didn’t want it to appear as if i was saying something unpleasant about terry. that appearance would be false. it was part of terry’s nature and personality to publicly be larger than life, while being quiet and sincere and devoted and loving in real life. he loved story telling and would, let’s say, embellish stories for the effect. i’m glad that you have such vivid memories of him. all of us who knew him well, still have such memories.


    • Gillian
      Sep 05, 2012 @ 21:40:07

      Fantastic. I know Alfredo, please give him my love. We must know each other from Terry’s parties. No?

      It might be a bummer that Terry and Jim weren’t actual roommates but I’m just going to keep on believing that because you’re right, it fits his persona. I just tried to call Rudy on the 675 number and it just rings.

      Let’s do brunch and gossip. Call me at nine one seven, five seven five, four nine five five.


      • scott
        Sep 05, 2012 @ 23:05:43

        i hope you didn’t mind that i posted that, and i certainly agree with your decision to keep on believing that. i haven’t seen or spoken to rudy since terry’s memorial on the boat. we were friends through terry, so i haven’t spoken to him since terry passed. i’ll speak to alfredo this week and see what he thinks. what’s your last name so i can tell alfredo to jar his memory or did he just know you as gillian?


        • Gillian
          Sep 06, 2012 @ 09:30:22

          Gillian should be fine, thanks!


          • scott
            Sep 08, 2012 @ 17:39:17

            hi gillian. i spoke to fred and he’d love to see you for brunch and so would i. next weekend is rosh hashana, so maybe the following weekend will work (sept. 22/23). we don’t know where you are, but think you’re in brooklyn. we’ll meet wherever it’s good for you. give fred a call to confirm a time and a place. 718 875 6039. looking forward to it. scott


          • scott
            Mar 19, 2014 @ 22:20:58

            i heard that rudy is back living in the apartment if you’re interested. i wonder what the apartment looks like, since i think it was sublet for a couple of years.


    • Grahame Lloyd
      Mar 18, 2014 @ 13:47:34

      Hi Scott

      I’m a freelance broadcaster, journalist and author in England who’s writing a book about the 50th anniversary of the release of Like a Rolling Stone. I know an acetate was played at Arthur in the summer of 1965 just before the single was released and I wonder if you could contact me at grahameatcelluloid@btinternet.com? Having talked to Shaun Considine, the then Columbia Records co-ordinator of new releases who took the acetate to the disco, I’m trying to find out more about the night in question.

      Hope you can help.


      Grahame Lloyd


    • dallesophia
      Sep 10, 2014 @ 11:14:13

      scott if you are scott man dell please get in touch with me


  4. Anonymous
    Oct 13, 2012 @ 19:53:38

    I knew Terry and Rudy when they were in Syracuse in the early 70’s.
    They had aloft, what is now known as Armory Square.
    I have a print of Terry’s. It is a one shot of a series of a man sitting in a chair.


  5. Anonymous
    Oct 04, 2013 @ 21:41:55

    I went to high school with Terry…he loved art….he came to our 40 th reunion. WE miss him….


  6. dallesophia
    Sep 10, 2014 @ 11:17:53

    Terry deepest soul apology for not knowing sooner. An extraordinary authentic human being, his depth very few could have known. Very few.His mind soared into places few could tread.


    • scott/joe
      Oct 07, 2014 @ 00:35:01

      i remember you and me walking up to his 5th floor apartment at 222 east 51 street during the first time terry took acid. before that day, he told most people that it was a dumb drug and he wasn’t going to take it because his mind and imagination were fertile enough without it. needless to say, he LOVED it. do you remember his little viles of purple liquid and green liquid acid that he used as decor?
      ilene, please contact me too. we have much to talk about.


  7. Anonymous
    Feb 13, 2015 @ 23:05:53

    gillian, rudy died last week. he had massive liver problems and developed pneumonia. he was living in california, outside of san diego, with his mother at her house. she died a few months ago leaving rudy to rattle around a big house with nobody there to try to take care of him. his demons got the best of him. cheryl called alfredo to tell him about it last week.

    still haven’t had a response from ilene rubinstein. ilene, if you’re there, please contact.


  8. Anonymous
    Feb 13, 2015 @ 23:06:53



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